This Summer is the Summer of Cloar in Memphis
It's not just summer – it's the Summer of Cloar.
Painter (and Memphian) Carroll Cloar's work is taking over four Memphis-area art museums through September 15th.
The exhibits are something of a homecoming for the painter. He was a native Arkansan, and he attended college at Southwest College (now Rhodes) in Memphis before going on to become kind of a big deal in the art world.
Cloar's work is definitively Southern. He painted scenes from daily life in the rurual Mid-South, drawing on his own experiences, books, stories and photographs. His paintings remind me of Flannery O'Connor's short stories: classically Southern, but a little bit surreal.
Four Memphis-area museums are showing Carroll Cloar's work this summer. The Brooks Musuem is showing "Carroll Cloar: The Crossroads of Memory", which features both Cloar's major big-deal paintings as well as some rare works from private collections. The University of Memphis art museum has "In His Studio: Carroll Cloar", which features his early works along with a replica of his studio. Christian Brothers University has Cloar's drawings on display in "The Drawings of Carroll Cloar", and the Mid-South Community College in West Memphis has an exhibit that focuses on Cloar's Arkansas roots.
In addition to the exhibits, there will be a ton of Cloar-themed events: guided gallery tours, a family day at the Brooks, Southern ghost stories and music, and a guided bike ride through Arkansas to visit some of the real places featured in Cloar's paintings.
For a complete listing of Cloar events, go here. The Cloar exhibits will be on display from June 8th through September 15th.
All images used with permission from the Brooks Museum. Max Prokell from Boyle Investment Company contributed to this story.